Yelp published a survey by Nielsen recently that involves more than 1,000 U.S. adults who use user reviews, which revealed that around 78 percent of consumers search for local business information online. The survey also found that Yelp is the most frequently used site (44%) while searching for local business information with tens of millions of U.S. visitors each month. It was found that 4 out of 5 Yelp users visit the site with the intention to buy a product or service. Around 98% of users made a purchase at this site with about 90% of them doing so within a week.
The other competitors involved in the survey were TripAdvisor, Angie’s List, Citysearch and YP.com. The surveyed people chose Yelp compared to these sites as:
- Most Influential – While making final purchase decisions, people chose Yelp 4.5 times more often than Angie’s List and 3 times more often than TripAdvisor.
- Most Trustworthy – While ranking local review sites that had the most trustworthy reviews, people named Yelp 3 times more often than Angie’s List and 1.5 times more often than TripAdvisor.
- Best Quality Site – While considering sites with best quality reviews, people chose Yelp 2.5 times more often than Angie’s List.
The survey found that 84% of the consumers surveyed considered user reviews as the most important content on local review sites. It was followed by other content including map/location, business contact information and business hours. Yelp has been shown to have quality data in all these areas. In addition to that, more than 11 million people use its smartphone app monthly in the U.S. and thereby the site has got a growing mobile audience. Undoubtedly, we can say that optimizing for Yelp can bring great traffic from both desktop and mobile platform.
The basic steps for Yelp optimization as recommended by experts are as follows:
- The first step is to claim your Yelp listing by visiting the ‘Yelp for Business Owners’ page and clicking on ‘claim my business’. You can do this by adding your business if it was not listed, unlocking your business, visiting already unlocked account or regaining control of already unlocked account.
- Ensure that the business information with your listing is filled out completely. You can add photos, contact information, noise level and so on.
- Encourage more reviews by placing your Yelp link on your website and email signature, supporting Foursquare check-ins, promoting your business on Yelp and taking efforts to rank your account on prominent search engines.
- Manage your negative reviews intelligently by replying politely with your point or ignoring the message if it is appropriate. Some negative reviews are better than having no negative reviews. Keep unbiased business listing and encourage engagement by asking for reviews.
With the help of experts, you can utilize new developments such as Yelp’s Revamped API to improve your optimization efforts.